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X-Bomber the Game

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Welcome to xbomber.co.uk; home of X-Bomber.

X-Bomber is a a fast, modern vertical-scrolling spaceshooter for Windows.

It is based on the Japanese sci-fi TV series; Star Fleet and features lots of arcade action, weapons and explosions.

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v0.83g - Upcoming Version2014.12.16    Comment icon 0    x

To Do:
- further upgrades to special weapons and crew chatter
- continuation of Mission 16

Done:
- Full-screen glow when collecting Power-ups
- ADEN Cannon now equally effective against all enemies
- Guest Ally: Impala Star Cruiser (credit: Brad Smith)
- Shields, afterburners and plasma missiles improved
- Space environment logic improved
- Variable engine glow
- Background scrolling logic improved
- GunBoy special weapon improved - more than 8 can be deployed
- Player speed handicap added to allow engine-disabling enemy weapons

Enemy Weapon - Smart Missile2014.12.10    Comment icon 0    x

I was happy with my recent changes to the lime-green smart homing missile that bosses 5 and 13 fire.
By contrast, I've never been perfectly happy with the look of the yellow vector laser that bosses 0, 7 and 16 fire that suddenly zig-zags toward the player.

Since the two weapons fulfil similar functions, rather than re-invent the wheel, I programmed a 'yellow mode' into the smart missile that allows it to behave in the same way as the vector laser - only it looks better and means that I can do away with the vector laser object.

By the same virtue, I did away with the ugly blue bullet that only the defence platforms fire in Level 4 by giving the smart missile a cool 'aqua-blue mode' that acts in the same way by following a random and unpredictable path.

This way is much more efficient in terms of objects and looks a lot cooler.

I'm planning a couple of other modes as well:

Lime - Smooth homing / guidance
Yellow - Zig-zag homing
Orange - Spiral
Aqua - Wander / unpredictable
Purple - 90' homing

In any case they will produce a corresponding-coloured explosion on contact with the player or a friendly, causing them about 20 units of damage.

High Score Uploads2014.12.04    Comment icon 0    x

I noticed today that we had a new high-score uploaded to the website, which surprised me since our hosts have been blocking the game from uploading since I switched back to them a year ago.

The current build of X-Bomber seems to upload scores to the server just fine now. This must be an unintentional result of a change at the hosts' end since I haven't spoken to them about it recently.

At least that's something I can cross off my to-do list.

New enemies2014.12.03    Comment icon 0    x

The site's navigation has been given a bit of a tweak to bring the Star Fleet and Other sections onto the main menu and make them more prominent.

I added some new images of the Evolution Dai-X Figure to the Star Fleet section as well.
My Evolution Dai-X arrived safe-and-sound from Kapow Toys.
They had one left-over that they set aside for me. So I'm really glad to have got it.
I haven't had a great deal of chance to play on with it but everything about it is brilliant.

I also found some images of a fantastic model of Dai-X; apparently Japanese (I couldn't find out much else about it), which you can see on the same page.

I'm working on some new enemies for the game. When I came across the X Bomber Encyclopaedia, I noticed that it contains drawings of a number of enemies that never made it into the TV show itself.
The most obvious is a lizard-shaped half-track tank with a gun in its tail.
There is also a larger, dual-cockpit version of the Alliance Fighter with a larger gun.
The Alliance Cruiser is also a lot different in one drawing; smaller, boxier and without the rear wings.
This gives me an idea for a new variety of Alliance capital ship; maybe not a carrier or a battlecruiser but an assault ship.

Media System Upgrades2014.10.19    Comment icon 0    x

Last month, the website's Media section underwent a range of improvements:

  • Thumbnail size nearly doubled
  • More white space and clearer layout and navigation
  • Star Fleet section re-organised; incorporates the content of Shane Perry's Big Dai-X website
  • Audio/video and downloads more prominent in file listings

More recently, I adjusted it to separate images, media and downloads into separate sections.

Interview with Paul Bliss2014.10.09    Comment icon 0    x

... composer of Star Fleet's soundtrack on Gateway 97.8

The programme features some great samples of Star Fleet's music and seems to have been very well researched.

You can listen to it on the radio station's website or from Media.

Impala Star Cruiser2014.10.09    Comment icon 0    x

In the same way as I added Brad Smith's Hive Runner ship to the game as a 'guest enemy'; spawning at random throughout the game, I added another of his designs as a guest ally.
I don't know anything about his Impala Star Cruiser except that it looks friendly and reasonably well-armed.
Therefore, I made it a resilient 'friendly' with a varied assortment of weapons.

X-Bomber v0.83f2014.09.13    Comment icon 0    x

  • X-Bomber Special Weapon #9; Laser Sabre - Complete
    - Beams reflect off targets more reliably
  • X-Bomber turret logic improved
  • X-Bomber Special Weapons: Logic1 and graphics2 updates
    - #3; Rotator Spread Gun1, #4; Plasma Cannon, #5; Scalar Mass Driver2, #7; Converging Laser Torpedos1
  • Dai-X Special Weapons: Logic and graphics updates
    - #2; WingBlade, #3; Rapid-fire Spread Gun, #4; Plasma Grenade, #8; Quantum Blaster
  • Added more character dialogue
  • Update feature fixed
  • Player Ships
    - Issues with Skull Player ship - detected and fixed
    - WingBlade afterburners added
    - WingBlade shield/HUD logic improved
  • Mission 08 volcanoes improved
  • Enemies
    - Added laser torpedoes and pulse guns to Attacker astrofighters
    - Added dual and alternating fire cycles to enemy turrets
    - Adjusted rotation logic on space mines
    - Early-in-game Boss ships - health doubled
  • System
    - Screengrab feature improved
    - Mission 8 shutdown glitch fixed
    - Fixed control mapping bug on options screen

News Round-Up2014.09.07    Comment icon 0    x

I found some impressive fan work relating to Star Fleet; in the first case, some nice models of the X-Bomber and the Alliance Cruiser and, in the second, a very accomplished painting of a familiar character from the show.

Articles like this show that the Star Fleet Wikia is going from-strength-to-strength:
I meant to write a feature about this a few months back. The Wiki really is incredible and I would recommend anyone to explore it.

Here is some more very impressive artwork of possible interest to Star Fleet fans:

A recent and very kind French review of X-Bomber the Game:
Jeux Video

Development Updates2014.08.31    Comment icon 0    x

Despite the blow regarding online high scores, I've managed a fair deal of progress with X-Bomber in other areas.

For a long time now, I've noticed an intermittent glitch with Mission 8, where it would suddenly shut the game down for no apparent reason during the 4-5 minute stage of the mission.
I tried to cure the problem long before but didn't succeed.
I believe I've now fixed it but I had to remove quite a few enemies from that part of the mission, which will have to be recreated.

Update:

I think I've pinpointed the line of code causing the problem. I re-created it and it seems to work a treat.
I could just re-insert the code for the enemies that I deleted but I think I'll recreate them and make them better this time.


In passing, I'm updating the mission's volcano sprites, which were OK but had room for improvement.

I'm equally happy with the improvements to the game's ability to capture screenshots of itself and display them in the menu.
The system worked perfectly well with space missions but rather less well on planetary ones.
The capture plugin seems not to get on well with objects that have the subtract filter applied.
The subtract filter blends the object with and darkens the background, making it useful for creating shadows.
Since practically all objects cast a shadow in X-Bomber, the results of capturing screengrabs of planetary missions were spectacularly variable.
In the end, I placed a large, rectangular active object with an additive blend over the entire screen, which then has its alpha-blend turned right up, making it invisible to the player but, apparently, not to the Capture plugin, allowing it to capture images of the planetary missions in the way you'd expect it to.

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